Denis Savard

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Denis Savard
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2000
Born (1961-02-04) February 4, 1961 (age 53)
Pointe Gatineau, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Chicago Blackhawks
Montreal Canadiens
Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Draft 3rd overall, 1980
Chicago Blackhawks
Playing career 1980–1997
Website http://www.savard18.com

Denis Joseph Savard (born February 4, 1961) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played in the National Hockey League from 1980 to 1997, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000. He has also served as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL,1 and now serves as an ambassador for the Blackhawks' organization.

NHL playing career

Denis Savard was drafted in the first round, 3rd overall, in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was the highest drafted player in Blackhawks' history, until the organization drafted Patrick Kane with the first overall pick in 2007. He began his career during the 1980–81 NHL season in which he had three assists in his first game. He then went on to set the Blackhawks' record (since broken) for most points by a rookie with 75.

He was known for his trademark move, the 'Savardian Spin-o-rama' (a term actually coined by Danny Gallivan, referencing the move performed by Serge Savard [1]), which entailed Savard whirling around with the puck in a full rotation allowing him to defeat defenders and goaltenders alike.

Savard had two separate stints with the Blackhawks. The first was from the 1980–81 season to the 1989–90 season. The second was from 1994–95 to 1996–97. During his absence from Chicago, he played for the Montreal Canadiens (1990–91 to 1992–93) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94 to 1994–95).

On June 29, 1990, Savard was infamously traded to the Montreal Canadiens for star defenceman Chris Chelios and a second-round pick (Mike Pomichter), a transaction that has since been considered largely in Chicago's favor as Chelios would produce some of his best seasons as a Blackhawk while Savard's career was on the decline.[2][3] Savard won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 1993, where he played 1½ seasons. On April 6, 1995, Savard was traded back to Chicago, for a 1996 sixth-round pick (Xavier Delisle). Savard's NHL career would end where it had started, with the Blackhawks.

In 1,196 NHL games, Savard scored 473 goals and 865 assists, totalling 1338 points. He trails only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita for total points in Chicago Blackhawks history. Five times during his career he scored at least 100 points and for seven straight years he had at least 30 goals. His highest point total of 131 came in 1987–88 and his highest goal total of 47 came in 1985–86. In 169 playoff games, he scored 66 goals and 109 assists for a total of 175 points.

Savard officially retired from professional hockey on June 26, 1997. On March 19, 1998, the Blackhawks retired his jersey number #18. Savard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 13, 2000.

Awards

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1977–78 Montreal Juniors QMJHL 72 37 79 116 22
1978–79 Montreal Juniors QMJHL 70 46 112 158 88 11 5 6 11 46
1979–80 Montreal Juniors QMJHL 72 63 118 181 93 10 7 16 23 8
1980–81 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 76 28 47 75 47 3 0 0 0 0
1981–82 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 80 32 87 119 82 15 11 7 18 52
1982–83 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 78 35 86 121 99 13 8 9 17 22
1983–84 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 75 37 57 94 71 5 1 3 4 9
1984–85 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 79 38 67 105 56 15 9 20 29 20
1985–86 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 80 47 69 116 111 3 4 1 5 6
1986–87 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 40 50 90 108 4 1 0 1 12
1987–88 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 80 44 87 131 95 5 4 3 7 17
1988–89 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 58 23 59 82 110 16 8 11 19 10
1989–90 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 60 23 57 80 56 20 7 15 22 41
1990–91 Montreal Canadiens NHL 70 28 31 59 52 13 2 11 13 35
1991–92 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 28 42 70 73 11 3 9 12 8
1992–93 Montreal Canadiens NHL 63 16 34 50 90 14 0 5 5 4
1993–94 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 74 18 28 46 106
1994–95 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 31 6 11 17 10
1994–95 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 12 4 4 8 8 16 7 11 18 10
1995–96 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 69 13 35 48 102 10 1 2 3 8
1996–97 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 64 9 18 27 60 6 0 2 2 2
NHL totals 1196 473 865 1338 1336 169 66 109 175 256

Coaching career

Shortly after his retirement as a player, Savard began a coaching career with the Blackhawks in December 1997. On November 27, 2006, Savard was named interim head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks after Trent Yawney was fired mid-season. He was commended for leading a young Blackhawks team to within 3 points of a playoff berth during his second season as coach. The Hawks finished just one victory away from the .500 mark in 2007–2008. The 40 wins in 2007–08 marked the first time the club had reached the 40 win mark in six years.

On October 16, 2008, just four games into the season Savard was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was replaced by Joel Quenneville, former coach of the Colorado Avalanche, recently hired as a scout for the Blackhawks' organization.2 In 147 games as coach, Savard posted a 65–66–16 record. Savard remains as an ambassador for the Blackhawks and received Stanley Cup rings in 2010 and 2013.

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L OTL Pts Division rank Result
CHI 2006–07 61 24 30 7 (71) 5th in Central Missed playoffs
CHI 2007–08 82 40 34 8 88 3rd in Central Missed playoffs
CHI 2008–09 4 1 2 1 (104) 2nd in Central (fired)
Total 147 65 66 16 .496

Other

  • Denis Savard has a cousin named Jean Savard who coincidentally also played for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1970s.
  • Denis Savard is distantly related to Montreal Canadiens' legend Serge Savard, they shared the same number (#18), and in the 1990s Serge was general manager of the Habs when he acquired Denis from the Blackhawks.
  • He is sometimes called "Savoir-Faire" referring to a fictional French Canadian mouse that was the archnemesis of the cartoon character Klondike Kat.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Blackhawks fire Savard, make Quenneville new coach". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Blackhawks fire Savard after four games". TSN.ca. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 

External links

Preceded by
Keith Brown
Chicago Black Hawks first round draft pick
1980
Succeeded by
Tony Tanti
Preceded by
Trent Yawney
Head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks
2006-08
Succeeded by
Joel Quenneville
Preceded by
Darryl Sutter
Chicago Blackhawks captain
1988–89
Succeeded by
Dirk Graham







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